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So the gang of cousins decided we needed a mid week retreat at The Retreat, Madh Island. Mid week since one cousin works on weekends, and there’s less of a crowd holidaying. Anyway we got there on the 8th of March at around 11 am, and were greeted with welcome drinks of either kiwi or blackcurrant. Somehow the hotel seemed to have forgotten that it was Women’s Day. Nothing was done to celebrate that.

After walking through a slightly musty corridor, the courteous staff deposited us in rooms that were spacious and well furnished. However, the bathrooms required serious refurbishing. The bathroom in one room had an opening in the ceiling where the light bulb was. Paint was peeling off the bathroom ceilings in all 4 rooms, the wood was coming off the door posts, and the floor didn’t look too good either.

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Mumbai in the distance

Yet, the views from the room were good and unobstructed by buildings or apartments. On three sides of The Retreat we found a lot of greenery, and Mumbai in the distance.

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Madh Beach

On one side, we have access to the beach, where fisher folk were hanging fish to dry. The guard only allowed access to the beach from 9 am to 6.30 pm.

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Mexican Chicken and Mutton Adraki

Lunch at the Lagoon was scrumptious.

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Our attentive waiter for that afternoon – Godson
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Salads

Pea and chicken soup or cream of spinach soup followed by a variety of fluffy breads, tasty rice, Mutton Adraki, Mexican Chicken, paneer, select salads like corn and lettuce salads, coleslaw salads, pasta and bell pepper salads and much more. Desserts were cool ice creams, blue berry pastries and Seviyan Kheer. Mmm…

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Meat for the Muscles

Post lunch, we went to the Recreation Club to play Billiards. Me, I just hit two solids, then gave up and let the boys continue with the rest of the stripes and solids.o Ha!

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Billiards

Come evening, we finished a few odd jobs that we needed to tie up, even though we were on a vacation. You have to work if you have to work! Called reception to ask how to access the free Wi-Fi, but they said it was on a paid basis. How come?

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The pool at the Retreat

Then we went to swim in the enormously large pool. There were a few people in the pool, but they were in the shallow end. We spent our time in the deep end frolicking around until the pool attendant turned the waterfall on, and we went there to get our natural back and head massages.

After a few minutes, we see something yellow about twenty feet away, curly and moving in the water. Looked like a three foot long yellow snake. Anyways, the yellow snake had us swimming clear to the other end of the pool as fast as we can, and out.

After getting out, we went over to check whether the yellow snake was really a snake. Turned out it was a dead long leaf. But because of the water flow and the wind, it looked like it was snake, even from out of the pool. Breathe a sigh of relief! But anyways, we spent the rest of the time in the Jacuzzi.

After the Jacuzzi we thought of going for a steam session. However, looking at the state of the steam rooms with the orange colored moss growing in there and the deprecating wooden benches, we opted out.

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The rest of the evening was spent taking pictures of the beautiful flowers and trees in the vast lawns.

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Aged Date Tree

There was an aged date tree that no longer gave fruit, and a tree that was a relative of the Indian Oak. The gardens were well kept with an array of beautiful colours and hues.

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Relative of the Indian Oak

The buffet dinner at the Tangerine Café was lush. Soups included corn and chicken soup or green peas soup, followed by an array of breads and salads including the tasty black eyed bean salad and German potato salad, and fluffy butter naans. Tawa fish, methi mutter malai, moghlai chicken, paneer and pasta dishes, a variety of rice and more saw to it that we were left feeling full. We also had the option of ordering a la carte, but didn’t need to.

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Main Course at Dinner

Desserts included Ras Malai, vanilla, tutti frooti and kesar pista ice creams, a double layer strawberry mousse and some pineapple pastries. What more can you ask for?

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Desserts
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Our Waiter Caitian

We wanted walk on the beach post dinner, but knowing the gate would be locked shut, we walked on the lawns instead.

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The empty lobby at night

The Tangerine Café of The Retreat was open for breakfast the next morning, but a bit crowded with a large group from an AMCO conference. So we settled in for breakfast at the Lagoon, with a variety of Indian and Continental food.

‘Yummy!’ my sister says. I look up to see what she’s eating. Her baked beans and chicken sausages don’t look that different from mine. She’d been eating them for some time too. How did she just now realize they were yummy?

‘Yummy!’, she says again. Everyone looks up now to see what she’s pointing too. And it’s not the food. Definitely. It’s the creator, the maker of the magic. There’s a really good looking chef checking up on the dishes. Ah yummy! Compared to the other chefs, he’s really tall and looks young, just like our cousin the chef in Pune.  But yummy! Sad, no one ventured to take a photograph of this one.

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Hammocks
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Walking About

Anyways, post breakfast we did another walk on the lawns, saw our friendly yellow snake still lying at the bottom of the pool, looking as lifelike as ever because of the breeze fanning across the water.

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We took a few more pics before we had to checkout at 10 am.

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Although we would have preferred better maintained bathrooms and steam rooms, the staff made our stay at The Retreat a good experience. Well, we could compare it with our experience in Vienna.
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